It’s that time of year again (and I don’t mean Christmas already) when the Premier League teams look to bolster their teams and squads to fight for the title, to bustle into the top half of the table for potential European football or to ensure they don’t become embroiled in a relegation fight or for those already in the relegation zone the opportunity to give themselves hope of Premier League survival.
Transfers already completed – well there’s only one at the moment involving two premiership teams as Morgan Schneiderlin has moved from Man Utd to Everton for an estimated 24 million. Solid and fantastic at Southampton, a flop at United. This could be a good move for Schneiderlin and Everton as he will almost certainly start under Koeman and his confidence should warm up after Jose Mourinho left him out in the cold.
Tom Cleverley leaves Everton to make space in the changing room for Schneiderlin I presume by going out on loan to Watford. Watford who are currently on a nightmare spiraling slump and need players like Cleverley with experience otherwise they could face a relegation fight themselves. Although Cleverley has always been mightily over rated as a player this deal is good for both him and the two premier league teams in a Jack Wilshere type of way. Only not so high profile.
The multi talented Oscar has left Stamford Bridge for a 60 million move to Shanghai in the Chinese league. He’s a super nifty player but this is a good financial business return for the Blues, good for Shanghai and although good for Oscar’s bank balance it’s highly unlikely his football will improve. The lads’ silky skills will sorely be missed.
Arsenal’s Jon Toral goes to Rangers on loan. A good move for him although most other football fans will be saying ‘who?’
Meanwhile Dutch international Luciano Narsingh has today joined Swansea from PSV Eindhoven but it will need more than just the one signing to keep the Swans up. Midfielder Tom Carroll the Tottenham player is also in talks with the Welsh club who at the very least are being proactive in their fight to beat the drop. Swansea needs defenders almost as much as Hull who started Wednesday’s League Cup Semi-Final with only two recognized defenders. Trouble is there’s still trouble everywhere at Hull City so expect a couple of loan deals. Their one shining example of a player giving his all totally against the odds is the wonderful Robert Snodgrass. If Hull ejected him in this month’s transfer window then Hull are down. Same over at Sunderland’s City of Light where West Ham have put in a bid of 6 million for Jermaine Defoe. Sunderland has refused this offer but West Ham may increase their bid. If Sunderland sell Defoe this January they are basically admitting they have thrown in the towel on Premier League football next season so watch these two players in the next 18 days through a microscope because it will say a lot about the teams they play for. Two teams above them need to strengthen and we’ve already mentioned Watford who have acquired Cleverley but also need another striker too. Crystal Palace are in free-fall and their first signing this week to partner big Sam Allardyce will be little Sam, Sammy Lee. I hope little Sammy bought his boots with him to Selhurst Park because the way Crystal Palace are playing currently he could get a game. On paper the team looks good enough but the whole place is bereft of confidence and they need a leader, they could do no worse than to get John Terry in for 5 months to sort them out. Unlikely to happen of course but Palace need a solid back four and another player who would fit perfectly would be Brighton’s excellent Lewis Dunk however I can’t see Brighton selling him to their bitter rivals particularly when it is likely that Brighton will be promoted to the Premiership themselves this season.
At the other end of the table Jose Mourinho says he’s saving his money for summer signings so unlikely to see more than one acquisition at United this January. Just the opposite, it looks like the January sales at Old Trafford as Mourinho has a mini clear out. Twenty quid for Anthony Martial anyone and I’ll throw in a Moby t-shirt. It remains to be seen if Arsene Wenger does any deals over the next three weeks. Arsenal have looked vulnerable at the back the last few weeks with Bellerin playing as if he’s tied up in a straightjacket. Right back is the problem, will Wenger stick with Bellerin or make a bold move and oust him. Arsenal’s title hopes could depend on Wenger making the right decision and probably won’t depend on signing Hednesford’s Cohen Bramall for £40,000 yesterday.
Liverpool need a reliable week in week out goalkeeper and a left back, desperately. It’ll be interesting to see what Jurgen Klopp does while over at Manchester City alarm bells must be ringing. Pep’s not looked the happiest of managers the last month and the pressure is beginning to tell, managing Manchester City is not like managing Bayern Munich, the Premiership is a league where 5 or 6 teams can win the title not like one in Germany. Vincent Kompany as has been seen is missed like the Easter Bunny, when he’s not around City are a shadow of themselves. They need a couple of signings and quickly while the signs are that the prolific Aquero could be on the move. Madness if that piece of gossip is true. As allegedly is West Ham’s Dimitri Payet, the rumour is he doesn’t want to play for West Ham, you can’t blame him for that but when you’re on £60,000 per week you’d play for Accrington Stanley, blindfolded wouldn’t you? West Ham fans will make their thoughts clear to Payet in the coming weeks.
Last word on Chelsea, Oscar’s gone. Do they need anyone? Possibly a back up striker, possibly someone who can score goals for laughs and as Gary Lineker’s retired maybe Jermaine Defoe could fill the gap there.